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Chrome OS gets first four Android apps

Google's Chrome OS just got a whole lot more useful, as the first Android apps have been ported to run on the desktop

Google’s Chrome OS was fairly basic when it first arrived a few years ago, but it has rapidly grown in popularity and function thanks to continued support from Google and rock bottom-priced laptops that make it available to many more people than the average Windows notebook. Today, Chrome OS’s usefulness has grown again, as iit is now able to run Android apps for the first time.

Revealed on the official Chrome blog last night, the release is the first result of the App Runtime for Chrome project announced at Google I/O earlier this year. The company is working with a group of Android developers to add more apps to the list of available ones, which Google hopes will give users “a more seamless experience across your Android phone and Chromebook”.

The first four Android apps are Vine, Evernote, Duolingo and Sight Words. Vine is Twitter’s short looping video app, which lets you watch other users’ creations or make your own using the webcam built into your Chrome OS laptop. Evernote is one of the most popular note-taking apps on Google Play, with the ability to clip images and content from the web as well as record audio notes. Duolingo is a language tutor designed to make learning a new language simpler and more fun than other instructors, and Sight Words is a game designed to help young children identify and recognise words.

Unfortunately there’s no sign of Flipboard, the beautiful news and content aggregator, which was mentioned during the initial announcement at Google I/O. Evernote and Duolingo both have fully functioning web interfaces too, so neither seem like killer apps, although the convenience of having them available offline should appeal to Chrome OS users.

All four Android Apps are now available to download from the Chrome web store on Chrome OS. Google is planning to add more Android apps to the operating system in the future, but has yet to confirm when the next batch will arrive.

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